A place for contemporary dance
For thirty years now, Circuit-Est centre chorégraphique has supported professionals on both technical and artistic levels, offering them spaces and services adapted to research, creation, training, and development in contemporary dance and getting involved in its milieu. Open to the whole community, this resource-sharing-based organization counts ten member companies: Louise Bédard Danse, Sylvain Émard Danse, Danièle Desnoyers/Le Carré des Lombes, Fortier Danse-Création, Et Marianne et Simon, Danse Carpe Diem/Emmanuel Jouthe, maribé – sors de ce corps, Frédérick Gravel/Grouped’ArtGravelArtGroup, MAYDAY et Cie Manuel Roque.
Circuit-Est has at its disposal 5 studios, located in 2 venues: Édifice Jean-Pierre-Perreault and Espace Saint-André. The choreographic centre rents these spaces at very reasonable rates, as well as it offers a programming of activities—compounded of master classes, workshops, mentorship projects, residencies, and [inter]national exchanges—intended for dance professionals.
Circuit-Est centre chorégraphique was awarded the 2013 "I love dance/J'aime la danse" Organization Award by the Canadian Dance Assembly.
Circuit-Est centre chorégraphique was finalist for the Prix de l'Action culturelle de la ville de Montréal-2015 for its project Alors, on crée? in collaboration with Louise Bédard Danse.
Circuit-Est's mission is to:
- Organize, develop, and manage a choreographic center in order to support and stimulate the research, creation, artistic development, dissemination, and promotion of contemporary dance.
- Provide shared studio space for creation and experimentation as well as services to its members—contemporary dance companies and choreographers—while respecting the distinctive artistic and organizational mandate of each.
- Offer services and space for creation, advanced training, and artistic development adapted to the needs of professionals in the dance community.
- Develop collaborative projects focused on the evolution and visibility of contemporary dance with local and international organizations.
- Cultivate the awareness of dance for citizens.
In 1987, Louise Bédard, Sylvain Émard, Francine Gagné, Lucie Grégoire, Carole Ip, Rodrigue Jean, Jocelyne Sarrazin, Richard Simas, Lee Anne Smith et Tedi Tafel created Circuit-Est centre chorégraphique and adapted two large studios which were to be devoted entirely to contemporary dance and choreographic creation [Espace Saint-André].
Ten years later, with the operating support of the three arts funding councils of Montréal, Québec and Canada, Circuit-Est acquired a permanent paid staff. This was a boost for the organization's operations and development capabilities and the expansion of the choreographic centre became a need.
In February 2007, Québec's Ministère de la Culture et des Communications awarded the Édifice Jean-Pierre-Perreault to Circuit-Est, providing an opportunity to deal more effectively with the needs of dance creators. With this locale, the administrations of six of its members could be housed under one roof as of January 2008; this would allow for an accelerated exchange of knowledge, expertise, and experience among them.
The Anglican Church of Saint-Thomas, built in 1907 and closed in 1949, was used for a few years by a theatre company, Les Compagnons de Saint-Laurent, till it was reverted to its religious vocation in 1953. The Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault purchased the church in the mid-1990s and transformed it into a choreographic space.
A few years later, the foundation just managed to avoid bankruptcy and the choreographic centre had to be closed in november 2004. It was only in January 2008 that Circuit-Est centre chorégraphique moved into the Édifice Jean-Pierre-Perreault, which also houses the Jeanne-Renaud and Peter-Boneham studios, its administrative offices, and those of six of its members and of the Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault.